War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0454 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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that "had we taken Corinth the present advantageous base of operations of the enemy-Memphis, Jackson, Bolivar, La Grange, Grand Junction and Corinth-would now be ours, not theirs." He adds, "I do not entertain a doubt of it." He testifies that he has "not a doubt that if we had taken Corinth, and as a consequence thereof freed Western Tennessee, that the efforts of the enemy to dislodge our army would have prolonged the contest so late in the season as to render military movements difficult." He testifies that "in the event of General Bragg's army being compelled to fall back into Tennessee the taking of Corinth by us would in all likelihood have enabled Bragg's army and this to have united or co-operated in such a way as to hold the State of Tennessee for several months." He volunteered to say in his evidence that "in the movements upon Corinth, and in the management of the fight at Corinth, amid all the consultations and conferences with me, which were frequent and many, there arose but one difference of opinion between us, and that was upon the question whether the attack should be delayed a few days until we should be re-enforced by the returned prisoners expected from Jackson."

I introduced the testimony of General Price on the subject of the propriety of my advance on Corinth because he was an officer of experience and distinction; second, because from his position a commander of a separate army, left in the rear by General Bragg to guard important interests of this State and to co-operate as far as his limited resources would allow, in the general design which Bragg's movement was intended to accomplish, his mind must have often been painfully engaged in considering what action on his part might best contribute to the success of our arms; and last, because I knew the propriety of attacking Corinth was no new subject with him, but one that for a long time received his anxious consideration.

Corinth, so hurtful to us while in the possession of the enemy, so advantageous to us if in our own, ought to have been attacked by me unless my repulse was an inevitable event. This could be only because either the place was impregnable to assault or because it was defended by an overwhelming force. My accuser (General Bowen) was not bold enough to affirm either proposition. He does not aver that the place was impregnable to assault. He does not charge that it was defended by overwhelming numbers. He charges only that the place was strongly fortified and that it was defended by a formidable force. That it was not impregnable he swears in his testimony, for he says on oath that in spite of the strength of the fortification and the formidable forces of the enemy the place could have been easily taken on Friday afternoon with proper disposition on my part during the battle. That it was not impregnable is shown by the abundant proof in the case that the exterior works were carried by my entire line, embracing both corps, and Price's corps carried the interior defenses an penetrated into the heart of the commanding general of the enemy. General Rust, who at Tuscumbia Bridge, within 14 miles of Corinth, pronounced that success was impossible, and afterward in stronger phrase declared the attempt madness, with the candor of the soldier and the gentleman, testified, before you that he was forced to change his opinion, and said, on Friday afternoon, " I thought we had a first-rate chance to take the place." That the fortifications were not impregnable to assault is manifest from the nature of the works themselves being penetrable by artillery and requiring no scaling-ladders to mount them.

Before proceeding to the second accusation I wish to say a few words